The pandemic has presented us with unprecedented challenges, but with every challenge comes opportunity. One opportunity is how some companies pivoted to stay afloat. Businesses realised they had to focus on transferable skills to survive. We saw employees transition across different industries. Employers waiting with open arms to welcome in professionals with varying backgrounds. Most recently from airlines- into retail and hospitality into healthcare. As a Job seeking candidate, this should give you hope and confidence. Now is prime time to transition your skills to benefit a new career. As every thriving company will need a plethora of well-honed skills to stay competitive. So as a job seeker, you have 2 choices, push for what you know or pivot into a brand new career.
Case in point the hospitality and retail industry. The hospitality sector is facing insurmountable job losses. Workers are in a predicament where they either wait it out or consider a career change. The second lockdown in England has also put a strain on retailers. Physical stores are closing, accelerating the ongoing shift from brick-and-mortar to online retailing. Increasing the need to fulfil head office and e-commerce roles. Arcadia’s brands once dominated the high street, buts its chain of stores have been hit hard by store closures caused by COVID-19, and the strength of online retailers. We are all operating in a modern world that demands us to leverage our skills in a different way.
So if you are in a risky profession in an industry that is struggling and may have layoffs, then start investing your time to get out fast. Your goal is to transition to a career that will thrive under the new economic environment. Consider the market place, researching optional industries and requirements. There has never been a more favourable climate for career changers. Take action now and seize the opportunity to future proof your career. First, assess your transferable toolkit. Secondly, learn how to deploy your skills for a new career.
1. What are Transferable Skills?
A transferable skill is something that is portable. They are skills that you build up in a previous role(s). I am currently refining my patience skills in a new role or organisation. This is particularly important if you are considering a career change.
The below skills are desired by almost every employer and as a career changer, it’s your responsibility to infuse and demonstrate your skill on your CV and in person.
· Analysis and decision making
· Commercial awareness
· Customer focus
· Influence and communication
· Leadership and team working
· Planning and organising
· Internal and external communication
So for example, it might be, say, a communication skill. It may be something around business acumen. Maybe you're a great team worker. Maybe you're brilliant at relationship building. There are a host of examples out there.
2. How to Spot your transferable skills
Irrespective of where you are starting from, your first task is to take stock and identify what it is you have to offer prospective employers.
This exploration is widely recognised as the most crucial phase in the career-changing process: the springboard to finding a more satisfying career.
Your self-marketing activities will be more effective if they know what transferable skills to sell and you can help them present it interestingly.
3. Go back over your career
Start thinking about all the roles that you have held in the past. Don't just limit your thinking to your professional life, what skills have you in your personal life.
Dig them out. They may be roles perhaps in a voluntary capacity. They may be roles that you have within the family. Take the time to consider the variety and the richness of your skill base.
As a parent returning to work, think about how you can package your multitasking and flexibility skills to provide value to changing workplace.
I always ask my clients to list all their accomplishments in their career, personal and voluntary life. Including anything they are personally proud of, not just job titles and awards.
You can also do this at home, identify your top three accomplishments. Write in detail what specific impact/outcome you created for your employer/team/department/client. Allow yourself to feel and relive the impact you had. Then ask yourself what skills you utilised to derive results and how you plan to use these skills in the future.
4. People who get interviews already know the job well
Whatever career change you make it is vital to study the industry in detail. Allocate time to research relevant news, external competition, jargon, skills needed, values, and attitudes/culture. There is general information available online, but it would be better to talk to those with first-hand experience. Start connecting with professionals on LinkedIn and be genuine and open about your desire to learn from them. The greater the fluency of your knowledge the more convincing you will sound like a potential employee.
5. Good applications and CV’s should look to the future
Your CV needs to describe your projected future, not dwell on your past, no matter how successful you have been. It must emphasise your transferable skills and experience that are relevant to your prospective industry. Previous achievements should relate specifically to the job you’re applying for, tailoring your responsibilities to highlight your perceived value.
The CV you write for your change of career needs to convince your potential employer that they should give you the chance to succeed in a new field: your desire to change career must seem like the next logical step.
As well as applying all the points above to your career change plan you must believe you can achieve the change. Start visualising yourself in your new role every day.
Have a Strategy and aim to win
I see it every day. Talented people losing their jobs or on the verge of being made redundant. Tensions are incredibly high right now. As a job seeker, it is important to weigh up the pros and cons of your current industry. Trying to revive your career in an industry that COVID 19 obliterate may be futile. Off course it’s easier to dedicate your time and energy to what you know. Testing old terrain and seeing if something bites. But what happens when supply doesn't equal demand. When nobody has the resources or market capability to assign you. When you are not even making THE recruiter HIT list. Your skills are not null and void, but the industry you are fishing in could be on the verge of disruption or extinction.
Take action now, seize the opportunity to future proof your career. First, assess your transferable skills and toolkit. Secondly, learn how to deploy your skills for a new career.
Last but not least believe you can and you will.
Anticipate disruption- assess the market- and be ready to embrace change.